Thought for the day

"Arms are the only true badges of liberty.  The possession of arms is the distinction of a free man from a slave." -- Andrew Fletcher 1698

Peacekeepers and other personnel employed by the United Nations (U.N.) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 2018 have allegedly impregnated at least 60 different local girls and women during their times of service in the troubled country, with the youngest accuser alleging she was just ten years old when she was impregnated by a U.N.

In April, the UK clinched a deal with Rwanda that stipulates illegal migrants arriving in Britain via the English Channel will be sent to the East African nation, where their asylum claims will be processed.

An unnamed Foreign Office official has accused Rwanda’s government of resorting to “arbitrary detention, torture and even killings” as “accepted methods of enforcing control,” The Guardian reports referring to documents revealed during a High Court hearing on London’s plans to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda.

An investigation into the actions of United Nations Peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo shines a light on years of rampant misconduct that has left thousands of broken lives. Victims of Peacekeepers say they were impregnated as children, left without child support, trafficked and raped.

For years, France has been a holiday destination for Hajar, a 32-year-old Moroccan who works for an international consulting firm.

In April she submitted an application for a Schengen visa to TLS Contact in Casablanca, a subcontractor of the French consulate in Morocco, as she normally did in preparation for her trip to France.

To her surprise, her visa request was rejected, which had never happened before.

"Even though my file was complete, my application was refused," Hajar told Middle East Eye.

Tags

The US launched airstrikes in Somalia on Tuesday against al-Shabaab, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said on Wednesday.

AFRICOM said in a press release that three airstrikes were launched in Beledweyne, Somalia, in support of the US-backed Somali government that’s based in Mogadishu. AFRICOM claimed that its “initial assessment” found four al-Shabaab fighters were killed and that no civilians were harmed.

The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, warned African countries last week not to purchase anything from Russia besides grain and fertilizer, or else they could face sanctions.

Thomas-Greenfield said during a visit to Uganda that countries could buy “Russian agricultural products, including fertilizer and wheat” but added that “if a country decides to engage with Russia, where there are sanctions, then they are breaking those sanctions.”

France began its military operations in the Sahel in 2013 to crush a rebellion in the North of Mali, a former French colony. The rebel and terrorist groups then reorganized to attack the center of the country which initiated a full blown rebellion. After nearly a decade, the rebels were still not contained and the numbers of terrorist attacks in the country rose steadily and the violence spread to neighboring countries.

The rising tensions eventually led to the complete deterioration of the relations between the two countries.

Tags

Tunisian analyst Dr Ali Chokri looks at why President Kais Saied decided in July 2021 to suspend parliament and freeze political activities pending a new constitution, why that constitution – adopted in a low turnout referendum – is so controversial, and the present economic and security situations in Tunisia.>>

The United States sees Africa’s 54 nations as “equal partners” in tackling global problems, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in South Africa Monday.

“Our strategy is rooted in the recognition that sub-Saharan Africa is a major geopolitical force — one that has shaped our past, is shaping our present, and will shape our future,” Blinken said at the University of Pretoria in a speech detailing the Biden administration’s policies for Africa.

Millions of boxes of oranges are spoiling in containers stranded at European ports as South Africa and the European Union lock horns in a dispute over import rules, citrus growers have said.

South Africa, the world’s second largest exporter of fresh citrus after Spain, filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last month after the EU introduced new plant and health safety requirements that orange farmers say threaten their survival.